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County Closed Competition 2016 Revue

11 of Windscales players competed at this years County Closed Competition which was held at Windscale due to the flood damage at Carlisles courts that made them unplayable.

There were three Graded Mens categories A, B, and C which were run in a Monrad format where everybody plays for a final position, as well as a Ladies Round Robin event featuring only 4 players.

In the Mens A group were Chris Musson and Ryan Barton, In the B group were Brandon Groggins and Michael Hetherington, In the C group were Sam Nichol, Ian Richardson, Craig Richardson, Thomas Bragg and Dominic Corlett, with Hannah Crichton and Linda Winder taking part in the Ladies.

Windscale Players; Dominic Corlett, Brandon Groggins, Mike Hetherington, Hannah Crichton, Ryan Barton, Chris Musson, Thomas Bragg, missing from picture Craig Richardson, Sam Nichol, Ian Richardson, Linda Winder.

Thursday Evening

Group C

Sam Nichol Ian Richardson

Sam Nichol who was seeded number 1, and Ian Richardson played a day earlier than the rest, and it was Sam who only just shaded a close three games, with Ian employing all his years of experience to frustrate his more junior opponent, however Sam won through 11/9, 11/9, 11/7 for his 3-0 victory.

Friday Evening

Group A

 Chris Musson  Ryan Barton

Chris Musson had 8 time defending champion Paul Bell under pressure from the start of their match and for two games was the equal of Paul only just losing them both 9/11, and it was only in the third game that Pauls strength and fitness overcame a great effort from Chris to take the third game 11/5 for a 3-0 victory.

Ryan Barton had a tough opener against James Worsick and never got started in either of the first two games losing them both 11/3, and although Ryan started slowly in the third he picked his game up a notch as it progressed and was looking better around the court, but James held on for an 11/8 game and a 3-0 victory.

Group B

 Brandon Groggins  Michael Hetherington

Brandon Groggins took on number 1 seed Jonny Irving and won comfortably, taking the first game 11/5, and more comfortably still in the second and third games for the loss of only 2 and 3 points respectively, to announce his intent to the rest of the group. A great 3-0 victory to set himself up for a good weekend.

Mike Hetherington the number 2 seed beat Andrew Thwaite in three straight games 11/5, 11/6, and 11/8 as his speed around the court continually gathered him points to seal a relatively straightforward 3-0 victory.

Group C

Dominic Corlett Thomas Bragg Craig Richardson

Dominic Corlett seeded 2 had the youngest competitor to play in clubmate Thomas Bragg and although he won the three games he was tested by Thomas who put up a good show, Dominic won 11/6, 11/8 and 11/4 for his 3-0 victory.

In a scrappy 5 setter Craig Richardson overcame Adam Gill 3-2, with neither player playing to the best of their abilities as they continually fought over the same square inch of court as each other, Craig took the first game 15/13, lost the next two getting 8 and 4 points respectively, easily won the fourth 11/3 and just scraped home in the fifth 14/12. Matches where the players are constantly in each others way need an experienced marker in control in order to avoid dangerous play being allowed to continue.


 Hannah Crichton  Linda Winder

Hannah Crichton played Linda Winder and in a tight three game match it was Hannah who came out on top, but not without a few scares along the way, taking the first game 11/8, and the next two 11/9, but doing well by coming from well behind in the third, to take a good 3-0 victory.

Saturday Session 1

Group A

Chris played Damien Whelan and continued in his good form from Friday, Damien was unable to finish rallies as Chris's retrieving continually picked him up points when all seemed lost, Chris took the first 11/6, and blitzed Damien 11/1 in the second, a tighter third game saw Damien take it 12/10 after Chris had squandered 4 match balls, but Chris made sure of the mach by taking the fourth game 11/7 for a good 3-1 victory.

Ryan only had the one match on Saturday, as withdrawals denied him his opening match, and that left him Chris to play in the 5th/6th place play-off. As two old friends and training and playing partners this was always going to be a close match, and it was Chris who only just took the first two games 11/9, and then followed it up with another tough third game 11/7 for another good 3-0 victory.

 Chris Musson 'A' Plate Winner with Tom Armstrong  Ryan Barton 'A' Plate runner up with Tom

Chris Musson finished 5th, Ryan Barton finished 6th

Group B

Brandon played Owen Barrett in his semi final and looked good for a straight games win as he took the first game 11/8 and the second evern easier 11/4, and had he not squandered 5 match balls when 10/5 up in the third, it would have been a quick finish, but credit to Owen he pulled that game back for a 12/10 win, and Brandon still had it all to do. A tight fourth game also went to a tie-breaker by two clear points, and it was Brandon who held on for a 12/10 win to seal his 3-1 victory.

Mike played young James Wilkinson in his semi final and won a tight opener 12/10, only to see James reverse the tables on him in the second game as James took it 12/10 also to level the match. Mike hit a good run of form and points in the third game to take that 11/3 which somewhat broke James's resistance and Mike took the fourth game 11/7 for a good 3-1 victory.

Group C

Craig and Dominic were pitted against each other in the first semi final and it was Dominic who came out on top, he took the first two games both 11/5, but was pushed by Craig in the third and should have lost it, as Craig squandered five game balls from 10/5 up. Dominic reeled Craig in and a protracted tie-breaker finally ended with Dominic finally taking his third match ball opportunity for a 14/12 game score and a 3-0 victory.

Sam played Alex Sales in the other Semi final and lost the opening game 11/6 but got his account oppened in the second game with an 11/8 score line. Alex went 2-1 up by taking a very close third game 11/9 and despite Sams best efforts he couldn't stop Alex taking the fourth game 11/8 for a 3-1 victory.

Thomas played Adam Gill and although he lost 3-0 should take great heart from his efforts as he played against seasoned county league players throughout the weekend, Adam was too strong for Thomas taking the first Game 11/6, the second game 11/7 and as Thomas got 'more into it' the third game also went Adams way 11/9.

Ian played Craig Jefferson and never really got up to speed quick enough with Craig taking the opening game 11/7. This got Ian into his stride and he opened his game account by taking the second 11/6 to level the match and although Ian pushed Craig all the way in the third losing it 9/11 he couldn't take the fourth game either losing that 8/11, and the match 1-3.

Saturday Session 2 (Play-offs and Finals)

Group B

In the Final Mike played Brandon, both through from tough 4 game semi finals, and it was Mike who took a tight opening game 11/9 to lead, but Brandon dug deep in the second game and played steadier squash taking it 11/6 to level at 1 game all. A repeat score of 11/6 from a more settled Brandon in the third gave him the advantage at 2 games to 1, this fired Mike into more winners in the fourth as Brandon started hitting looser shots and Mike took the game 11/9 to take it to a fifth game. the first 8 points were shared at 4 all, but Mike capitalised on Brandons increasing looseness as perhaps he overtried or tired, and put away a series of good winners to take the game 11/4 and the match 3-2.

 Michael Hetherington 'B' Champion with Tom  Brandon Groggins 'B' runner up with Tom

Mike finished as Champion, Brandon 2nd position

Group C

Ian played Thomas in the 7th/8th play-off and it was Ian who started the more consistent and went on to take the first game 11/5, and followed it up with a second game score of 11/6 to lead 2-0. Thomas wasn't overawed but couldn't get to grips with Ians bludgeoning winners off either 'hand' and the third game went to Ian 11/8, for a 3-0 victory. I'm sure that once Thomas has played Ian a few more times he will get used to Ians idiosyncrasies and turn the tables on him.

Sam played Craig and lost the opener to him 6/11 after Craig dominated the early exchanges with 6 out of the first 7 points, and although the second game was closer but yet with neither player dominant, it was only a late run of 4 points that saw Craig pull away to take it 11/9, and Craig followed that up with a third easy game 11/2, for a comfortable 3-0 victory.

In the Final Dominic played Alex Sales and struggled in the first game losing it 11/6, but taking a tight second game 11/9 to level at 1 game all. Alex regrouped and took the third game relatively untroubled 11/4, only to see the 'never-say-die' Dominic bounce straight back with an 11/6 fourth game score to again level the match at 2 games all. The fifth game went Alex's way with an 11/7 score to win the match Dominic losing a close final 2-3.

 Dominic Corlett 'C' runner up with Tom

Dominic finished 2nd, Craig finished 3rd, Sam finished 4th, Ian finished 7th, Thomas finished 8th


Saturday Session 1

Linda played Victoria Bell and was slow out of the blocks as Victoria took the first game 11/4, but it was good pressure from Linda that saw her take the second game 11/9 to level at 1 game all. An equally tight third game saw Victoria get back in front with an 11/8 score line and the fourth also went Victorias way 11/5 for a 3-1 win.

Hannah played Eve Driver and lost the opening game 8/11 but reversed the trend in the second taking it 11/6 to tie the match, and by taking the next game 11/4 Hannah was in front 2-1. The fourth saw Eve dig in and despite Hannah being 5 points down well through the fourth game to Eve she chipped away a point at a time until she was level, to take the game to a tie breaker, which she won at the first attempt for a 12/10 game and a 3-1 victory.

Saturday Session 2 (Play-offs and Finals)

Hannah played Victoria in the Final and never got started in the first game as Victoria dominated it 11/4, but a better application from Hannah in the second game saw Victoria stretched to the limit as Hannah only just missed out 9/11 to go 2 games down. Hannah threw caution to the wind in the third and tried to outmanoeuvre Victoria, but it was all too loose and Victoria picked it all off winning 11/0 for a 3-0 victory.

Linda played Eve in the 3/4 play-off and it was the youngster who took the first game 11/7 to put Linda 1 game behind. A better showing from Linda in the second game saw her come from well behind at the start to level it up then trade points until it went deep into a tie-break, which Eve triumphed in 14/12 to lead 2-0, Linda gave it a good shot in the third but Eve wasn't to be denied and she took the third game 11/5 for her 3-0 victory.

Hannah Crichton Ladies runner up with Tom

Hannah finished 2nd, Linda finished 4th.

Windscale would like to thank all the players who took part and the spectators who supported and marked etc. throughout Friday and Saturday, with thanks also to to Ronnie Bell and Tom Armstrong for the administration.

Hopefully all of you will be fit enough to take part next year when the competition reverts to Carlisle, and we will be able to take the west coast up to Carlisle, and show everyone that we travel well!

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